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Ultralight Backpacking Double Wall Tent Guide (2023)

Ultralight Backpacking Double Wall Tent Guide

The number of ultralight double-wall backpacking tents with a trail weight of 3 lbs or less that are available today has grown significantly, driven by consumer demand and advances in fabric and material technologies. If you prefer a double-wall tent over a single-wall tent because it’s more spacious, warmer, less drafty, and has a separate inner tent and rainfly to prevent internal condensation transfer, you can have it with just a slight weight penalty compared to a single-wall tent.

While ultralight single-wall tents will always have their advocates, the vast majority of backpackers prefer freestanding (See: What is a Freestanding Tent) and semi-freestanding tents (See: What is a Semi-Freestanding Tent) that don’t require much practice or advanced site selection skills to set up. Ease of use often trumps a few ounces of added gear weight when it comes right down to it. See for yourself, below in this sortable table.

Make / ModelTypeWeight (oz/g)
NEMO Dragonfly OSMO 1Freestanding33oz/933.9g
NEMO Dragonfly OSMO 2Freestanding42oz/1188.6g
NEMO Hornet OSMO UL 1Semi-Freestanding29oz/735.8g
NEMO Hornet OSMO UL 2Semi-Freestanding31oz/877.3g
NEMO Hornet OSMO UL 3Semi-Freestanding45oz/1273g
NEMO Hornet Elite 1 OSMOSemi-Freestanding23oz/650.9g
NEMO Hornet Elite 2 OSMOSemi-Freestanding27oz/764.1g
DurstonGear X-Mid 1Trekking Pole28oz/795g
DurstonGear X-Mid 2 Trekking Pole35.4oz/1005g
Hilleberg Enan 1Semi-Freestanding34oz/962.2g
Hilleberg Akto 1Semi-Freestanding46oz/1301.8g
3F UL Lanshan 2Trekking Pole39oz/1103.7g
3F UL Lanshan 1Trekking Pole29.8oz/843.34g
Mamot SuperAlloySemi-Freestanding43oz/1216.9g
Marmot Tungsten UL 1Semi-Freestanding34oz/962.2g
Marmot Tungsten UL 2Semi-Freestanding47.5oz/1344.25g
MSR Freelite 1Semi-Freestanding26oz/735.8g
MSR Freelite 2Semi-Freestanding32oz/905.6g
MSR Hubba Hubba 1Semi-Freestanding34oz/962.2g
MSR Hubba Hubba 2Semi-Freestanding46oz/1304g
Sierra Designs High Side 1Semi-Freestanding31oz/877.3g
Sierra Designs High Route 1Trekking Pole28oz/792.4g
Six Moon Designs HavenTrekking Pole34oz/962.2g
Slingfin 2LiteSemi-Freestanding42oz/1188.6g
Slingfin Portal 2Freestanding46oz/1301.8g
Sea-to-Summit Alto 1 TR1Semi-Freestanding33oz/933.9g
Tarptent NotchTrekking Pole28.4oz/803.72g
Tarptent Notch LiTrekking Pole21.5oz/608.45g
Tarptent Stratospire 1Trekking Pole36.5oz/1032.95g
Tarptent Stratospire LiTrekking Pole28.6oz/809.38g
Tarptent Stratospire 2Trekking Pole43.8oz/1239.54g
Tarptent Moment DW 1Freestanding37.7oz/1066.91g
Tarptent Double Rainbow DWTrekking Pole44oz/1245.2g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall 3 CarbonSemi-Freestanding29oz/820.7g
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV 1 CarbonSemi-Freestanding16oz/452.8g
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV 2 CarbonSemi-Freestanding18oz/509.4g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2 PlatinumSemi-Freestanding31oz/877.3g
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL1Semi-Freestanding27oz/764.1g
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL2Semi-Freestanding31oz/877.3g
Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL3Semi-Freestanding47oz/1330.1g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2Semi-Freestanding35oz/990.5g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3Semi-Freestanding42oz/1188.6g
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1Freestanding34oz/962.2g
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2Freestanding43oz/1216.9g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL1Semi-Freestanding30oz/849g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 mtnGLOSemi-Freestanding38oz/1075.4g
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 mtnGLOSemi-Freestanding45oz/1273.5g

Tent Fabrics and Materials

The lightest-weight ultralight double-wall tents are made with DCF (Dyneema Composite Fabrics) which is more of a synthetic laminate than a fabric. In addition to being very lightweight, it’s much more waterproof than conventional tent fabrics and doesn’t sag when it gets wet. The downsides are that it’s very expensive and is bulkier than conventional tents to pack, even though you’d expect the opposite.

Most ultralight double-wall tents are still made with more conventional fabrics including ripstop nylon. These are usually coated with PU (polyurethane) or its variants including PeU (polyether urethane), which is becoming increasingly popular. These waterproof coatings allow tents to be factory seam-taped so you don’t have to seam seal them yourself, something that a number of single-wall tent manufacturers, including Six Moon Designs, Lightheart Gear, and Tarptent require to this day with their silnylon and siliconized polyester tents.

Silpoly, which is siliconized polyester, is a relative newcomer to the ultralight tent scene but is being adopted by more and more lightweight backpack makers including Durston Gear and Tarptent. Like DCF, it doesn’t sag or stretch when it gets wet, which has always been a problem with silnylon.

Some of the tents listed above, including those from Big Agnes and MSR, also include carbon fiber tent poles to save weight. These became available about 5 years ago and have proven reliable, so more and more tent manufacturers are adopting them.


To summarize, there are more ultralight and lightweight double-wall tents available today than ever before. If you’re in the market to reduce the weight of your backpacking tent but are hesitant to get a single-wall tent instead of a double-wall one because you’re concerned about tent condensation or ease of use, rest easy. The weight difference between ultralight double-wall and single-wall backpacking tents has narrowed considerably and you can stick with a double-wall tent with only a slight weight penalty.

Double-wall Tent Advantages

  • Easy to set up
  • Inner tent prevents internal condensation from making your gear wet
  • Can be used in all three-season weather conditions and mild winter weather
  • Vestibules provide covered more gear storage in poor weather
  • Deep bathtub floors prevent flooding if water pools underneath
  • Less drafty because less airflow is required to mitigate condensation
  • Easier to set up on rock ledges, sandy soil, or wooden tent platforms

Double-wall Tent Disadvantages

  • Tent poles can be bulky and awkward to pack
  • Warmer in hot weather
  • Take longer to dry because they have more surface area
  • The inner tent may become wet when pitched in rain, although some double wall tents can be pitched fly first to keep the inner tent dry

See also:

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  1. No REI tents? Love my quarter dome SL1.

  2. There is Warmlite who offer a number of Quick Ship and Custom tents made in Maine.

    • I’ve bought a number of items from Warmlite over the years and the sewing quality has been so HORRENDOUS that I’d be very hestitant to do business with them. I also came by one of their older tents two years ago and the sewing quality on that was just awful too. Your mileage may vary. Make sure you can return anything you buy from them.

  3. Although not a true double-wall, there is also the Tarptent Double Rainbow Li with optional liner. We’ve only had it out on a few trips so far, and so more testing needed. May be an option for those wishing to splurge outrageous amounts of money and try single wall living without having to fully commit. The single version of this tent is reviewed here, of course:

  4. No review on HMG’s unbound tent series?

  5. I have the Moment DW and like the AKTO it is SEMI-freestanding, not freestanding as listed.

    Since getting the TT Notch Li Dyneema solo tent the Moment DW has become my “winter tent” with the addition of the optional Crossing Pole (but shortened 5″ and run UNDER the fly for better wind and snow load handling).

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